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bills-cash-collection-47344-300x212Former Illinois police chief Michael Newsome, who has been charged with the theft of over $200,000 in civil asset forfeiture funds, has waived his right to jury trial. Newsome was first arrested in 2012 and has been out on bond ever since.

Newsome has been charged with seven felonies. The charges include the theft of over $100,000 in government property, official misconduct, and the misappropriation of funds. The thefts are alleged to have occurred between 2007 and 2012.
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cleaning-268126_1920-300x200Marcelia Freitas and Marcello Pompa, both of Saugus, Massachusetts have been indicted in connection with a workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme. According to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura T. Healey, the scheme allowed Freitas and Pompa to avoid paying over $74,000 in insurance premiums.

Freitas and Pompa are owners of M&M Cleaning Inc., a company based in Malden, a city to the north of Boston. According to its website, M&M Cleaning offerings include janitorial, handyman, and special event services. The AG’s office alleges that Pompa falsely claimed work carried out by his company had, in fact, been performed by subcontractors. This enabled Freitas and Pompa to conceal over $2.8 million in payroll from the state.
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anno-1900-clothes-clothes-line-54611-300x201U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is seeking forfeiture action on 52 cartons of men’s briefs that were in a shipment presented for entry into the U.S. at Long Beach Seaport on April 16, 2015.

Entry documents identified the shipment’s importer as Sunshine Import International Corporation. The shipment came from Xiamen, China.

According to the forfeiture complaint, the shipment was seized by CBP on May 18, 2015, and is currently in the agency’s custody. A warehouse inspection by CBP allegedly revealed that the briefs bore a possible infringement of the “leaping cat” design that is a registered trademark belonging to sporting goods manufacturer Puma.

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William Charles Bell of Davie, Florida was arrested on October 31 after he was accused of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old girl who is related to his ex-wife.

Bell, 55, faces nearly a dozen charges, including five counts of lewd or lascivious acts upon a minor and three counts of failing to disclose that he has HIV. He is being held in Pompano Beach on $850,100 bond. The press did not name an attorney for him.

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justice-2060093_1920-300x200Attorney General Jeff Sessions has resigned effective immediately. Sessions’ Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker, has been named as acting attorney general in his place. Sessions was a champion of civil asset forfeiture—he reinstated a federal forfeiture program that had been restricted by Eric Holder, his predecessor. Without Sessions at the Department of Justice (DOJ), there is uncertainty over the future of this program.

Sessions faced bipartisan opposition for his championing of civil asset forfeiture. “I’m amazed these people don’t get it. We had a reform in early 2001… relieved some of the concerns from our libertarians,” said Sessions in 2017. The Obama administration, he continued, “actually curtailed this program for the last several years, but we’re going to keep it out there. And as long as we can, we will be doing it.”
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